Bustos expects smaller direct payments to Americans in latest pandemic stimulus

4 The Record

Illinois congresswoman anticipates a deal before Christmas

It’s a big week on the pandemic front — medically and politically.

Medically, millions of doses of the Pfizer vaccine made it to health care workers across the country.

The first doses got to the Quad Cities Tuesday and Wednesday.

FDA approval of the Moderna vaccine will add millions more doses to the supply.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says 75 to 85 percent of the country needs to be vaccinated to achieve real herd immunity.

Politically, federal lawmakers close in on a new pandemic relief bill.

Details are being worked out on a $900 billion compromise — extended unemployment benefits, direct payments to Americans, support for small businesses, money for state and local governments all included, but to a lesser extent than earlier relief legislation.

Lawmakers have been talking for months and every time they seem to be close to a deal on a new pandemic relief package, something stalls.

Now the pressure’s on to get it done by the end of the year.

Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos is in the middle of those conversations.

She joined us this week on 4 The Record for a conversation.

She went public about her health last month and shared that she tested positive for COVID-19, so first we asked for an update on how she was feeling, then had he address if she thought Democrats and Republicans could finalize a new pandemic relief bill by Sunday, when 4 The Record airs.

The compromise measure is a $900 billion package with added unemployment benefits, more money for the Paycheck Protection Plan to bolster small businesses, money for virus testing, tracing and vaccine execution.

There’s a fight over putting cash directly in the hands of Americans.

Bustos discussed the biggest sticking points and the likelihood that Republicans would follow through on talk of limiting the Federal Reserve’s lending ability or the threat of a government shutdown.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you.  It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.

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